There I was, 21 and going through a divorce.
Leaving an abusive relationship; I was scared, angry, broken, ashamed and betrayed. How could God let this happen? What did I do wrong?
That was when I decided God wasn’t going to be a part of my relationships anymore. I mean, He was a part of my marriage. We prayed together, attended church, did bible study, and look how that turned out.
Going my own way, I started seeking approval, happiness and fulfillment in having a large group of “friends” and another very unhealthy relationship. Again I was hurt, betrayed by people I thought were my friends, by the person I thought loved me. In all honesty though, I was betraying myself! By not having God at the center of these relationships they were shallow, selfish and superficial.
It could be easy to look back at my failed relationships and friendships over the last decade and feel hopeless.
I could learn how to better navigate the buoys!
I am reminded of a scripture Paul wrote to us single ladies.
1 Corinthians 7:25-26, 32-34
25 Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are.
32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit.
This has become one of my favorite passages. It reminds me that being single can be a blessing. We live in a world so focused on dating, marriage, sex, and relationships. From the time we pop out of the womb it seems every movie, game and toy is about finding the person that “completes” you.
When a relationship ends it can feel like the world has ended also.
As Pastor Blake reminds us, “We’ve all had shipwrecked relationships, spouses, friends, parents…. What treasure can we take from that shipwreck?” Looking at my fleet of shipwrecks I have found there is hidden treasure in each one. My broken relationship with God was restored. I am reminded that God has never given up on me, he has never turned his back on me. It’s hard to even fathom a love that great.
How could he love me, in all my brokenness?
But he does…
John 15:12-13 (NLT)
12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
And that is what He did. Jesus came and died on the cross because he loved us so much and wanted to give us eternal life in heaven. Why wouldn’t I want to be best friends with him?! Only by leaning on God and putting that relationship first will I be able to love others the way he loves me.
John 13:35 (NLT)
35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.